Fitting agricultural tyres

A few very important safety and fitting guidelines must be complied with when replacing tractor tyres. It is an intensive job, so it would be wise to seek assistance from a (agricultural) tyre specialist. However, before getting started, make sure the new agricultural tyre is compatible with your wheel rim and will be used for its intended purpose.

You can comply with fitting-related safety procedures by using appropriate equipment, implementing suitable methods and deploying a compressed air system featuring a safety device. And, of course, you should also use safety goggles, safety footwear, hearing protection and a tyre cage. Keep your distance if a tyre cage is not available (when inflating the tyre).

Remove old agricultural tyre

You must first remove the old tyre before you can start fitting the new one. Never do this if it is still inflated! Use wedges to make sure the tractor or agricultural vehicle cannot move. Then install the jack so the wheel in question is lifted off the ground.

Apply fitting grease to the edge of the wheel rim and the heel of the tyre. This will make it easier to remove from the wheel rim, so long as appropriate equipment is used.

Prepare to fit the agricultural tyre

Before fitting a new tyre - which should be done vertically (on the vehicle) because this offers better checking possibilities - certain preparations are needed:

  • Check if the tyre, rim and inner tube are compatible with each other and with the vehicle and purpose.
  • Clean the rim and check for damage (on the inside).
  • If the tyre has an inner tube, always use a new one. Naturally, you should use a tubeless rim if the tyre is tubeless; plus, always fit a new tubeless valve.
  • If thick tyres are involved, always use hydraulic equipment like a bead breaker and/or mini lem.

Finally, apply tyre grease to the edge of the wheel rim and the heel of the new tyre. Make sure there is a thin layer on the inside and outside of the tyre (tip: on the outside, ca. 5 centimetres higher than the edge of the rim).

7 steps when fitting an agricultural tyre

Before you start, make sure the valve or valve opening is located at the bottom. Then:

  • Use the first heel to pull the tyre over the edge of the rim.
  • Then push the rest over the edge, bit by bit. The heel of the tyre should be in the deepest groove of the rim.
  • Slightly inflate the inner tube, place it inside the wheel rim and insert the valve through the valve opening.
  • Push the second heel over the edge of the rim and into the deepest groove of the rim (end next to the valve).
  • Centre the tyre on the wheel rim.
  • Make sure the inner tube has not been trapped by the heels.
  • Inflate the tyre to approximately 2.5 bar, which will push the heels into the correct position.

Finally

Before trying to inflate the tyre, check if the heels are in the correct position. Once this has been done, the tyre can be inflated until the appropriate pressure is reached. Do this using a tyre cage; alternatively, maintain enough distance.

A few general tips:

1- Never heat wheel rims on which tyres have been fitted (no welding or soldering).

2- Regularly check the tyre pressure.

3- Low tyre pressure causes unnecessary wear and tear to the casing.

4- High tyre pressure reduces the tyre's contact area with the ground (loss of grip, susceptible to damage).